Edible Cookie Dough has landed...

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There’s no denying that cookie dough is one of the more interesting dessert trends of 2017. Maybe it’s because we all have nostalgic memories of stealing a sneaky spoonful of delicious dough while baking cookies in the family kitchen. And of course, mum would tell us off, warning us about stomach cramps and salmonella because well, cookie dough is mainly flour mixed with raw eggs. But, there’s good news! Edible cookie dough gurus have now solved this problem by designing recipes that contain heat-treated flour and using either pasteurised eggs, or no eggs at all, genius!!

So where did this dessert craze come from? The idea of edible cookie dough has its origins in the United States, where supermarkets stock logs of frozen, pre-made cookie dough that can be cut up and put in the oven with minimal preparation. But there were those of us who, too impatient for the final, delivered product, just ate the dough in all its naked glory. This spawned the cookie dough craze and the rest is history.   

From its humble beginnings, edible cookie dough has blown up as a dessert in its own right. There are now a huge variety of flavours from triple chocolate to apple & cinnamon. But, it doesn't stop there. Cookie dough is also often scooped into waffle cones and mixed with sauces and toppings, or incorporated into other desserts to create delectable delights no one can refuse!

To get your cookie dough fix in Melbourne, order online at Cookie Doh Co. (also available at Bistro Morgan in a cookie dough doughnut sandwich) or Cookie Dough Dream.

What the heck is Frozen Custard?

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If you haven't had a run in with frozen custard or encountered its enticing, creamy deliciousness on your Instagram feed, you've been living under a rock. It’s been all the rage overseas, especially in the US, and now it’s blowing up here in Melbourne. 

Frozen custard is a gourmet, frozen dessert made with milk, cream and a small percentage of egg yolk that originated from Coney Island, NY as a carnival treat at the turn of the century. It might sound like I’ve just described ice cream, but the way that frozen custard is made is quite different and produces a more luxurious finish. Instead of being frozen in a batch freezer, frozen custard is typically made fresh everyday and churned in a continuous freezer where the amount of air beaten into the fold is minimised. With less air, fewer ice crystals are created, resulting in an ice cream that is denser, smoother and silkier.

The best way to enjoy frozen custard is by ordering a frozen custard concrete: a delicious mess of frozen custard mixed with your favourite lollies, fudges, fruits and nuts!

Frozen custard can be found in Melbourne at Chiquito & Co., Royal Stacks and Laurie Dee’s Hamburgers and Frozen Custard.

Winter is coming....

It has been a bitterly cold winter to date in Melbourne and you could be forgiven for thinking you were living in the Northern Hemisphere on some of those icy and gloomy mornings. But a cold, prolonged winter has a silver lining... comfort food and lots of it. We need to stack on those extra layers of fat to protect us from the elements and a food coma is just the trick. Our little hit list will help guide you to Melbourne's best destinations for resplendent, glorious comfort food that will help lift your spirits, even in the depths of this wild and wooly winter. 

FIVE WINTER DESTINATIONS THAT YOU MUST EXPERIENCE BEFORE THE BIG THAW: 

Zia Theresa, 90 Lygon St, Brunswick East

On a Wednesday night this charming and cosy Italian restaurant serves up a generous bowl of authentic and rustic pasta, plus a house wine for just $20. A fire flickers away and the glowing dining room is a welcome respite from the cold outside. A carb overload is encouraged here and the service is warm and cheery. 

Hakata Gensuke, 168 Russell Street, CBD

Patience is a virtue and you'll be waiting outside for a table in the big chill while you salivate over the extensive selection of ramen at this famous city locale but it's definitely worth the wait. Slurp down on a bowl of the signature pork bone broth or chow down on chicken karrage (Japanese deep fried chicken) and you'll soon forget the lashing wind and rain outside. Prices are very reasonable and the service is well, very Japanese and we just love their sense of boundless enthusiasm and fun. 

Marion's Wine Bar, 53 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy

A smorgasbord of shared plates and impeccable vinos are the order of the day at this beautiful Fitzroy wine bar, run by the legendary Andrew McConnell. Oysters, confit duck, a whole rainbow trout and mussels and nduja are just some of the dishes designed to whet the appetite. Wines by the glass are on the expensive side but this is a Friday night destination for pure indulgence and quality. 

The Union Club Hotel, 164 Gore Street, Fitzroy

Another beauty north of the river, shoot some pool in front of the open fire at The Union Club and then tuck into some classic pub fare which includes the Holstein Chicken Schnitzel, a Panko crumbed free range chicken breast topped with fried egg and served with crispy bacon sauerkraut, our favourite dish. Beers flow, there's plenty of decent wine to quaff and the burgers are just $15 on Sunday's. Just a few solid reasons to hibernate here during those long winter weekends. 

Pho Hien Saigon, 3/284 Hampshire Road, Sunshine

Nothing but exemplary Pho served up at this Sunshine institution. The broth simmers for 12 hours and you can smell the flavours and aromatics as you walk in the door. Thin tender beef slices or chicken breast is served over chewy noodles with a delicious savoury broth to boot. Cheap, cheery and quite simply, a winter wonderland. 

A guide: A quiet tipple in Melbourne town

Photo courtesy of Sharking for Chips and Drinks

Photo courtesy of Sharking for Chips and Drinks

After a long, laborious day at work full of emails, pointless meetings and inane shop talk, sometimes a quiet drink post-work is an obligatory exercise . If you don't want the hustle and bustle of Friday night drinks, the buzzing hum of conversation and the incessant clink of glassware, then we have a guide to Melbourne's best bars for a quiet night cap (well, at least before you arrive home to howling kiddies and hungry pets). There is no shortage of bars in Melbourne, we are definitely spoilt for choice but where do you find the best ambient bars to enjoy a peaceful chinwag and your favourite alcoholic concoction? Look no further, here are our top 3 venues in Melbourne for that quiet tipple you lovingly crave when the clock hits 5pm on a slow and weary Wednesday.  

ROMEO LANE, 1A CROSSLEY STREET, MELBOURNE, Just off busy Bourke Street and down one of our cities famous laneways, Romeo Lane is a quiet and intimate digs with that warm art deco, living room feel.  It's small and cosy and they sling cocktails from midday (you heard us correctly), serving up classic mixes with an interesting twist. Try a Scotch Manhattan inspired by the hoity-toity Savoy Hotel in London or perhaps a Daisy De Santiago is more your style; aged rum daiquiri infused with yellow chartreuse and poured over cracked ice. Top shelf booze is the order of the day at Romeo Lane and you can't pass their fine selection of sherry, cognac and gin to boot. Whatever your fancy, this is an ambient beauty in the heart of our glorious city.

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BAR AMERICANO, 20 PRESGRAVE PL, MELBOURNE One of our absolute favourite haunts, Bar Americano is perhaps Melbourne's most quintessential laneway bar and is a serene destination for a knock off. A compact bar is an understatement and this is standing room only but that's all part of the fun. Their cocktail list changes weekly, no cheesy Instagram selfies are allowed (hallelujah) and their cocktails are genuinely made with love and finesse. Order their famous Americano, showcasing house-infused vermouth, bitters, lemon juice and soda and forget our cold, winter for just a second as you enjoy one of Melbourne's best cocktail experiences.

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WHISKEY AND ALEMENT, 270 RUSSELL STREET, MELBOURNE If you work day has been particularly hellish, nothing is more therapeutic than the impressive selection of fine whiskies at Whiskey and Alement. More than 600 Whiskies grace the bar and this little beauty has evolved into a world class destination for whisky drinkers. Dark, broody lighting encourages a dram or three, staff are friendly, open to candid discussion and passionate when it comes to the good stuff. Lastly, rumour has it, they make a killer martini, talk about covering all bases, Whiskey and Alement is a beast and a very friendly one at that. 

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